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Sigma Lambda Upsilon
The crest of Sigma Lambda Upsilon.png
FoundedDecember 1, 1987; 35 years ago (1987-12-01)
Binghamton University
Vestal, NY
MottoHasta La Muerte
(Until Death)
Colors  Gold,   Black,   Silver &   Red
FlowerRed Pansy with Black and Gold
JewelBlack Pearl
PublicationThe Spirit of Ella
Chapters43 undergraduate chapters
18 graduate-professional chapters
MascotBlack Persian Cat with Gold Eyes
HeadquartersGrand Central Station
P.O. Box 3842

New York, NY
WebsiteSigma Lambda Upsilon homepage

Sigma Lambda Upsilon (ΣΛΥ) or Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. is a Latina-based sorority founded on December 1, 1987 at Binghamton University.[1][2] The organization was created to promote academic achievement and serve the Latino community and the campuses that Sigma Lambda Upsilon serves. The sorority is now present in over 50 campuses. Though Latina-based, Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority, Inc. is a non-discriminatory organization.



The sorority (like other Greek members within the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations) was founded during the post-1975 phase of the Latino Greek Movement which followed the "principio" (principle) stage initially kickstarted in 1898 by student activism on college campuses.[3] The "fuerza" (force) wave of Greek-lettered Latino organizations in the 1980s would then begin as the result of many Latino students feeling they had to create a more favorable system of American higher education for Latino population witin the country.[4] This would be a much talked about issue during the time for social justice activists within the community as a result of the stagnant growth of Latino student enrollment during the 1980s through the early 1990s.[5]


The initial steps for the creation of Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Incorporated were taken in 1986 at Binghamton University. In this period of time, fellow NALFO Latino fraternal organization La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Fraternity, Incorporated was considering being co-ed as the founding line of its Beta chapter included two women by the names of Carol Lasso and Vanina Gonzalez.[6] Eventually, however, the decision was made amongst its members to keep Lambda Upsilon Lambda from that moment on, exclusive, to those who identified as male. The result of this decision would lead to the fraternity's Beta chapter coming up with its two female members, the concept of a sorority on-campus that would be able to unite the community's Latina women. Shortly afterward in December 1987, the founding line of the organization would be formed, with four women: Cynthia Santiago, Adriana Zamora, Carmen Ibeth Garcia-Quiñones, and Carol Elizabeth Torres, creating the Alpha chapter of Sigma Lambda Upsilon at the university, forming the first Latina-interest sorority on campus with their titles of "founding mothers".[7]


Historically, the organization has worked with children and youth as the primary target population to aid in literacy in education and career success. In the early 1990s, there was much interest centered on bilingualism in the classroom and the high illiteracy rates across America. At age four, Latino children tend to have less developed school-related skills than their caucasian counterparts. By age nine, It was found that Latino students tend to lag behind in reading, mathematics, and science proficiency. Thus, in the spring of 2000, the Sorority decided to focus its efforts and funding on literacy. The Sorority advocates for literacy as a means of ensuring the empowerment and success of our nation and the people of its diverse communities. They encourage literacy as an activity that affords limitless possibilities and promotes reading and writing as enjoyable, exciting, and empowering.

Literacy is more than just reading. It’s the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, computer and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy can be expanded to include many areas such as: financial literacy, technological literacy, health literacy and more. The premise of their philanthropic work focuses on the power of literacy to uplift their communities and foster confidence in their young people, for them to advance toward their educational, personal, and professional goals.[8]


The sorority heavily uses Pre-Colombian imagery to represent its goals.[9]

Mentoring programs

Sigma Lambda Upsilon's national mentoring initiatives are the Leadership, Advancement, and Development of our Young Sisters (LADYS) and Promoting Education, the Arts, our Roots, Leadership and Service (PEARLS) programs.[10]

Awards and recognition

Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority, Inc. has been recognized by the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) for the Sorority’s outstanding commitment to academic and professional excellence, as well as, continuous philanthropic efforts.

Undergraduate chapters

Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. has installed 43 chapters at over 60 Colleges and Universities, including:[1]

Graduate chapters

Graduate chapters, open to alumnae as well as alumnae initiates, include:[1]


  1. ^ a b c William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive)". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 5 Jul 2021. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  2. ^ "Plattsburgh goes green for April with SUNY students".
  3. ^ Oliver Fajardo. "History of Latino Fraternal Movement and Why it Matters on Campus Today" (PDF). Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  4. ^ Moreno, Diana; Banuelos, Sheila (2013). "The Influence of Latina/o Greek Sorority and Fraternity Involvement on Latina/o College Student Transition and Success". Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies. 5 (2): 113–125. doi:10.18085/llas.5.2.y1113g2572x13061. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  5. ^ "More Blacks Go to College; Rate for Latinos Falls : Education: Total of minorities on campus grows, but the gap with whites closes only slightly, a study will show today". Los Angeles Times. 20 January 1992. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  6. ^ "History - Bold Beta - la Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc". Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  7. ^ "History". Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  8. ^ "Latinx Sororities and Fraternities You Should Keep on Your Radar". 23 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Ancient Colombian goldmaking – Smarthistory".
  10. ^ "Sigma Lambda Upsilon". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  11. ^ "SLU Welcomes Newest Chapter - Alpha Rho chapter at University of Virginia". Archived from the original on 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  12. ^ "Multicultural Greek Council". Retrieved 2017-02-02.